You can use images to improve your blog posts in several ways.
Bloggers often think images are simply pictures to break up text.
But it’s not the only way to use them.
If you do some of the things I’ll outline in this article, you won’t just be posting pretty or cute pictures.
You’ll be using images to actually improve your blog posts.
Why images are important
People don’t want to read blogs that look like a whole lot of endless words.
It just gives the impression that they will be tedious and boring.
Your brain processes information better in bits.
And it looks more manageable and inviting when it’s broken up into multiple segments.
There was a time when the only way bloggers could break their text up into segments was with headings.
So H2 and H3 headings were about the most visual way they could make their articles look more user friendly.
But now, bloggers use images to break text into segments, instead of one big run-on blurb.
So when readers visit your blog, if they see the blocks of text broken up into segments by images, their brain tells them they can handle it.
Connect with your readers
Images help you build relationships with your readers.
They are more friendly than text, and let people know more about your feelings on topics.
SharlaAnn Matyjanka shows you how to personalize your images
to build a stronger connection with your readers.
Lower your bounce rates
Your blog posts won’t rank too high in the search engines if people bounce from them too fast and frequently.
One of the reasons they’ll bounce away and click to another site is because your articles look boring.
Images can improve your blog posts by making them look more pleasing and inviting.
It’s one thing to get people to click to your site.
But it’s another thing to get them to stay there for a while, read your article, maybe click on some of your links and even leave a comment.
Images can help immensely when it comes to audience retention, or keeping your readers on your site for a while.
And they make your blog post attractive not only by giving it visual appeal, but as I said earlier, by breaking blocks of text into more user-friendly, bite-sized segments.
The SEO factor
Another way that images improve your blog posts is in making them better optimized for the search engines.
It’s what I call the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) factor that goes into contructing a blog post.
So, how do you use images in this way?
Your images need to look sharp and professional.
Otherwise they could actually make your blog look amateurish.
They can be your own images, though, as long as you’re able to produce them in high quality.
Images can be photos, drawings, vectors or any kind of graphic design.
Using your own photos or graphic designs will make your blog stand out for originality.
And original images could even gain high ranking on search engines, driving lots of free traffic to your blog posts.
You don’t have to do original work, though.
As an alternative, you can also hire graphic designers, artists and photographers to do original creations for you.
Or, you can simply purchase some stock photos and images.
There are plenty of sites like Pixabay and Unsplash where the vast majority of their images and photos are free to use.
Image ALT tags
Always use ALT tags for your images.
Those are simply keywords you attach to them.
The above ShoutMeLoud article shows you
how to use ALT tags to optimize your blog post images.
Since Google and other search engines can’t really assess the topic of a graphic image, attaching keywords to your images simply tells them what your picture is about.
And, if the topic of your images is highly similar to your blog topic, then it will help it achieve higher ranking.
In order for images to improve the SEO quality of your blog posts, they need to be highly relevant to the subject matter in your blog post.
You can’t just post images because they look good or because you like them.
There has to be a reason for them to be in your article.
That’s what I mean by image relevancy.
And using images that are relevant to your content is a key ingredient in establishing a strong SEO structure for your blog posts.
If they also include relevant ALT tags, they can really help improve your blog post ranking for the keywords they are optimized for.
Types of blog images
There’s a wide variety of images you can use to improve your blog posts.
Following is a short list of some of the most important ones.
You need to pick one main image that will show up at the top of your blog post.
In WordPress, it’s called your “featured image.”
It’s an important image that can definitely improve your blog post.
And not only because it’s the first thing people will see when they click on your article.
But also because it’s the thumbnail image that people will see on your blogroll and in your social media links.
So make it an image that pretty much shows people what your article is about.
And you can indicate that not only with the image itself, because that’s often quite difficult to do.
But do a text overlay on top of the image.
This is typically the title of your blog post.
If your article is titled “How to overcome fear,” for instance, you might just choose an abstract image, like maybe of clouds or something.
But the overlay text would be: “How to overcome fear.”
Remember, your featured image is probably going to be the one that people see the most.
And even if they don’t click on your social media post, for instance, they’ll still see that image.
So it’s a great way to bolster your blog’s brand, even if it doesn’t directly improve your blog post traffic.
Internally linked content upgrades
Internal links redirect to other pages and posts on your blog.
You can use images to create those internal links.
So, for instance, you might use an image with a text overlay saying something like “learn more about…”
Then link it to one of your other blog posts that you’d like people to visit.
Of course, you could use text linking to accomplish this, but images are far more effective.
Externally linked content upgrades
External links redirect to articles outside of your blog.
So, for instance, they might link to an article that is relevant to your blog post.
And again, images can be used to embed links to that content.
These externally linked images can improve your blog posts in various ways.
They can foster a good user experience by directing people to external articles that offer more information on your topic.
They can help you build better relationships with other bloggers, whose articles you share in this way.
And they can help your article rank higher in search engines since external linking and image optimization are both good for SEO.
Images don’t have to be just pretty or eyecatching.
They can improve your blog posts by adding direct value to your topic.
Infographics combine graphic appeal with information pertinent to your blog post.
They are a combination of visuals and information like statistics, facts, research, lists of things to remember, quick outlines of complex material and more.
Infographics can also be used to act like a condensed checklist or cheatsheet.
They can have bar graphs, diagrams, charts and other visuals to make your blog post more easily understood.
So they are clearly a good use of images to improve your blog posts.
And even more, infographics can be used for marketing those same blog posts.
You can put your infographics on social media, and invite other bloggers to embed them on their blogs.
This can be a very effective way for you to market your blog posts.
Images can always be used for calls to action (CTA’s).
So if you want people to join your email list, you can create an image with text overlay like “Get my top 3 resources here.”
Then link it to your squeeze page where people sign up to get that lead magnet.
You could also link any image to a sales page, an affiliate product or a service you provide.
And, of course, your call to action could be something as simple as “learn how to do it here,” and link that image to another one of your blog posts.
These are just a few examples of some CTA’s that could be embedded in your blog.
What kind of CTA’s do you use?
Or what kind of CTA’s could you develop to build your business?
CTA images can improve your blog posts by making them great vehicles for getting people into your business at some point or other.
How to use images to improve your blog posts
These are some good ways for you to integrate images into your blog.
Images are a particularly good method for making your blog posts more user friendly and inviting.
I suggest you write a list of objectives you have for each of your blog posts.
Then match up images that can help you achieve them.
Now, I’d like to hear from you.
Please leave me a comment below.
Let me know… what kind of images are you using now?
And tell me… how are you using these images to improve your blog posts?
PS: Don’t forget to share this article on your favorite social sites. I appreciate it 🙂